By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Manpower yesterday eased most restrictions on the transfer of workers in certain sectors. The new decision allows expat government employees and those on dependent visas to transfer to work in the private sector, a statement said.

The new decree 142/2021 allows locally-employed expats to transfer to all sectors with the approval of the previous employer and without the condition of period (one year) set in article 5 of administrative decree 842/2015.

The new decision also allows the transfer of expat employees to all activities within six main sectors: Industry, agriculture, fishing, cooperative societies, free trade zone (which is currently changing its legal status) and grazing, with the prior approval of previous employers. Employees in these professions were previously not allowed to transfer to a different employer.

The new decision does not apply to workers on government contracts and small and medium projects. The manpower authority said the decision was taken to meet labor market needs because of the prevailing conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the rapporteur of the National Assembly’s human rights committee MP Hamdan Al-Azemi yesterday accused companies with major government contracts of being involved in trafficking in persons. Azemi said some companies with large government contracts recruit thousands of workers from abroad and leave half of them on the streets after taking hefty fees from them.